Williamsburg Waterfront Rezoning Four Years Old Today

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The Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Rezoning turns 4 today, causing blog Brooklyn 11211 to take stock. The blog notes that since May 2005 over 1,000 construction projects have been filed within Community Board 1. And what has the community gotten in return? On the affordable housing front, 11211 gives the rezoning’s results what sounds to us like the equivalent of a “C” grade; some of the big Kent Avenue projects have a meaningful number of affordable units but a combination of a delay on the city’s part in getting the Inclusionary Housing bonus on the books and, given the easy riches at the time of market-rate condos, insufficient incentive to opt into the program meant that most smaller and mid-sized projects went up without any affordable housing. On the issue of open space, though, 11211 gives what sounds like a “D” grade. To date, the North 5th Street pier is the only public space to open as a result of the rezoning; the northside esplanade is under construction but nowhere close to ready, Bushwick Inlet Park is still in the planning stages, and the esplanade from Bushwick Inlet to Newtown Creek is “years from reality.” (The creation of the laudable East River State Park Two predates the rezoning.) A couple of bright spots: The $50 million reno of the McCarren Park pool and the creation of the Open Space Alliance. The blog also cheers the fact that, despite initially resisting community calls for more stringent height and density restrictions, the city has moved ahead with contextual rezonings of three sections of North Brooklyn and rejected Quadriad’s requests for permission to build tall towers on Bedford Avenue.
Happy Rezoning Day [Brooklyn 11211]
Photo by Krzysztof Poluchowicz

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